Washington University Women’s Basketball Opens Season with 65-60 Win at Fontbonne
St. Louis, Mo., November 15, 2011 – The No. 7 ranked Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball team used an 8-0 run late in the second half to pull ahead of Fontbonne University, then held on for a 65-60 win over the Griffins in the season-opener for both teams Tuesday night at the Dunham Student Activity Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Senior Dani Hoover had a huge night for the Bears, scoring a career-high 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. She also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
After a back-and-forth first half, Washington U. held Fontbonne scoreless for more than four minutes as the Bears built a 43-37 on a basket by Hoover with 15:22 left in the second period. The Bears maintained their lead for the next five minutes, until Fontbonne tied the score for the 11th time in the game at 47-47 with 10:04 remaining.
Washington U. scored six unanswered points, while forcing a pair of Fontbonne turnovers to regain a six-point advantage, 53-47, with 8:18 on the clock. The Griffins answered with six-straight points over the next two minutes to tie the score again. The Bears took the lead for good, 55-53, with 5:55 left on a second-chance reverse layup by Hoover.
Over the next four minutes, Washington U. outscored Fontbonne 8-2, including four points by freshman Melissa Gilkey to extend its lead to 63-55. The Griffins cut the lead to 63-60 with1:08 remaining after a three-pointer and a pair of free throws. After a missed shot by Fontbonne, junior Kristin Anda hustled for the rebound, and a jumper in the lane by senior Bethany Morrison gave Washington U. a five-point lead. A final shot attempt by Fontbonne was off the mark, and Morrison grabbed a rebound to seal the 65-60 win for the Bears.
The Bears and Griffins played evenly through the first half, with nine lead changes and nine ties in the period. In the final two minutes of the half, Washington U. got back-to-back three-pointers by Hoover and senior Claire Schaeperkoetter to take a 36-33 lead, before a basket by Fontbonne cut the lead to 36-35. The Bears had a chance to add to their lead heading into halftime, but a three-pointer bounced off the rim, sending Washington U. into halftime with a one-point lead.
Washington U. shot 43.6 percent from the field in the game, while Fontbonne shot 42.1 percent. The Bears were 11-of-17 from the free-throw line, outscoring Fontbonne by five as the Griffins made 6-of-9 free-throw opportunities. The Bears finished with a 37-32 rebounding advantage, and outscored Fontbonne 11-5 on second-chance points.
Gilkey and senior Brianne Monahan added 10 points each. Monahan also had a career-high five blocked shots for the Bears. Morrison tallied a team-high six assists.
With the win over Fontbonne, Washington U. head coach Nancy Fahey picked up career win number 597. Fahey has accumulated a 597-106 (.849) record in 26 seasons on the Danforth Campus.
Washington University (1-0) will travel to Lake Forest, Ill., for the Forester Tip-Off Tournament at Lake Forest College on Friday and Saturday. The Bears take on Northland College on Friday, Nov. 18, at 5:30 p.m.